Michael Cohen Says Lawsuit Will Sink Trump Organization
02:26 GMT 23.09.2022 (Updated: 10:08 GMT 23.09.2022)
© AFP 2023 / DOMINICK REUTERIn this file photo taken on January 16, 2017 US President-elect Donald Trump boards the elevator after escorting Martin Luther King III to the lobby after meetings at Trump Tower in New York City. - The Trump Organization is being investigated in a "criminal capacity" as New York prosecutors advance their probe into former president Donald Trump's business dealings, the state attorney general announced Tuesday. "We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature," a spokesman for Attorney General Letitia James' office said. "We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA."
© AFP 2023 / DOMINICK REUTER
Donald Trump and the Trump Organization are facing legal challenges on multiple fronts. The fraud lawsuit brought by the New York State Attorney General comes with significant financial penalties.
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says he believes the civil fraud lawsuit brought against the Trump Organization will destroy the company.
On Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the civil fraud lawsuit after a three-year investigation into the Trump family and their businesses. It alleges that the Trump Organization inflated and deflated property values to mislead and attract investors, as well as gain tax and loan benefits.
Speaking on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” Wednesday night after the announcement, Cohen said the investigation is “going to put an end to the entire company.”
21 September 2022, 15:37 GMT
James is asking the court to impose at least $250 million in penalties and a permanent ban on Trump and his family members from serving as an officer or director in any New York-based company. She also said she expects the penalties to rise up to $750 million as the case uncovers the full extent of the organization’s alleged crimes.
Cohen joined the Trump Organization in 2006 and served as the former president’s personal lawyer from 2006 to 2018. In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to several crimes, including tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, and several other charges. In a separate case, also in 2018, he was convicted of lying to the Senate and House Intelligence Committee.
During Wednesday morning’s announcement of the lawsuit, James stated that her investigation began after Cohen testified in front of Congress about the Trump Organization’s business practices.
“When [James] mentioned my name, I was obviously quite elated, to be honest, because I’m finally getting the recognition for what I’ve been sitting on the mountain tops yelling for three and a half, four years,” Cohen said on MSNBC. “Which is that the Trump Organization is a criminal enterprise and that I got thrown under the bus by dear old Donald.”
When announcing the lawsuit, James also said she referred several alleged federal violations to the IRS and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Trump’s two sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., have blasted the investigation, calling it a witch hunt. Trump echoed those statements on his social media platform Truth Social, calling James “racist” and “perhaps the worst crime fighter in the Country.”